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How speaking a second language can enhance a career in science

On Wednesday 12 October, the Alliance Française de Melbourne has hosted a webinar celebrating La Fête de la Science.

The webinar, entitled How speaking a second language can enhance a career in science, featured established French and Australian bilingual scientists working in Australia and covered topics such as the benefits of being bi-lingual, how language can boost an international career, how languages shape the way we see the world and do research, as well as personal anecdotes and advice.

The discussion, during which student questions were answered, was broad and insightful, ranging from topics such as gender equity in science, how languages can enrich your professional life, making yourself understood in new environments and dealing with a new language, having fun whilst making mistakes and the cognitive benefits of having a second or third language.

We would especially like to thank the following scientists for generously donating their time and talent to our discussion.


Professor Frédéric Hollande – Head of the Dept of Clinical Pathology at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research, located within the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC)


Professor Tim Fletcher Professor of Urban Echydrology, Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Joanne Ryan – Head of the Biological Neuropsychiatry and Dementia research unit in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM)

Dr Helene Kammoun - Innovation Program Manager at Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)

Prune Bokobza – International expert, hydrogen and renewable energies, currently working with Invest Victoria


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